-Hi there. Thanks for answering to our interview. How does it feel being about to release your first Watcher album?
Hi! Thanks for the interview, it feels really exciting to finally be making music again. I’ve been suffering from a kind of musical apathy in recent years, but I’ve finally rediscovered my love for heavy metal.

-How, when and why did you decide to go solo? You fronted Lethal Steel even if it’s been a while since the last EP you released. Does that band still exist?

I fully decided to go solo sometime last autumn. I moved from Stockholm to a smaller town called Skövde, and here I have no musical contacts at all, so I decided to try playing all the instruments myself. Previously, in my teens, I played both drums and guitar in various smaller projects, so I thought I’d give it a try. Heavy metal is much about dedication and attitude and not always about being the best on your instruments, even though there are many bands with incredible musicians. I fronted Lethal Steel, and that band is close to my heart. Right now, it’s on hold as we live in different cities, but we’ll see what the future brings. I’m open to most things.

-Anyway, what does Watcher provide you on a more personal level?

Watcher gives me the opportunity to spread my own wings. It’s really nice not to have to anchor everything I do with someone else. If I want to have a slightly cheesy lyric in a certain song or a catchier part in another, it’s only myself I have to answer to, which is both challenging and fun.

-That name, being just a single word, makes me think of Sortilège or Blaspheme. It has a ‘80s ring to it. How did you come up with ‘Watcher’ and what does it represent?

I actually don’t remember when I came up with that name, but I’ve carried it with me for a long time, thinking it would be a cool name to go with. It represents the highest, who observes us from the other side.

-This is your solo project but I haven’t found any details on that. Have you played everything on this release? Did you have other musicians in the studio?

It’s me playing everything. It was an incredible challenge at first, but I think the end result turned out really well.

-And in production terms, how was the whole process and who worked on it?

I produced this as well. It was originally recorded to be a demo, but as time went on and after my first contact with Turborock Productions, it evolved into an album release with 10 songs. It’s not a super production, but I don’t think heavy metal should be overproduced, as it is in most cases today. Heavy metal should sound raw and have a sense of uncompromising dedication.

-I know comparisons suck but the cover artwork reminded me a little bit to the one for ‘Legion of the Night’. It looks amazing. Tell us the idea behind it, who did it, etc.

It’s a relative of mine, Lars, who painted it. He took inspiration from that very cover. I told him I wanted roughly the same feel that «Legion of the Night» evokes.

-How does it differ to work on your own project from playing in a band? You know, all the pros and cons. Does having your own project provide you some kind of self-confidence? Or do problems/challenges also make you grow with a stronger determination?

The advantages are that you can do exactly what you want. Stylistically, I’m completely free in my creativity. Then it’s an advantage that once you start writing, it goes very quickly to get it done since it doesn’t require rehearsing together first. The disadvantages are that it’s a bit dull not to rehearse and have communication with others in the music-making process. Also, I can’t quite get the guitar solos I would really like to have; you feel a bit lacking when you’ve played in a band with someone like Jonathan Nordwall, who now plays with Enforcer now, and is magical at guitar solos in particular.

-There are a couple of songs in Swedish. Is it a statement? If you were from anyother country, would your music be any different? I guess there might be a lot of things that surround you that even if unconsciously, inspire you, from the nature to other bands.

I love writing songs in Swedish. I don’t know why, but the songs always get a completely different feeling, maybe a more old-school vibe. This probably comes from one of the first heavy metal bands I started listening to, Jonah Quizz, and they inspired much of the formation of Lethal Steel. Then, of course, the Swedish melancholy comes into the picture here too, something we Swedes have in our DNA.

-Lyric-wise, I think there’s always some sort of mystery, a quasi mystic aura. What do they deal with? Or what did inspire them?

I write a lot about experiences in my life. I’ve struggled a lot with addiction over time, and those experiences have inspired me to write lyrics about the darkness and the feelings it brings. However, I’ve beencompletely free from this for about a year now.

-When it comes to the sound, these songs are very old school, Heavy Metal that harkens back to the ‘80s, with elements from Power, Epic or Speed Metal. What albums were you listening to while working on this record? Are there any new bands or artists where you can recognize yourself in?

Three albums that have been on repeat this past year are:
Icon – S/T (which will probably be more noticeable on the next release)
Universe – S/T
Tygers Of Pan Tang – Spellbound
Three incredible albums that have really rekindled my burning passion for heavy metal as it should sound.
As for new bands I recognize myself in, I’d mention Century, where one of the members is Leo, who played drums in Lethal Steel. He and I have been writing music together since we were kids, so there’s a lot I recognize myself in. Fantastic band, and they’ve really nailed a great feel in their releases.

-Did you have a clear vision in your mind about how the album should feel/sound like or has it developed itself in a more spontaneous way? From the writing to the recording or even the mix, do the songs get new life?

This has grown over time. The music in «Coming Down» was the first heavy metal song I wrote when I was 15, even before Lethal Steel was on the scene. Then some of the songs are newer, and some are acouple of years old. But overall, I think they come together into a reallystrong album with the right feel. Many details have developed during the mixing process.

-By reading this, I guess some people might wonder what the music differencesbetween Watcher and Lethal Steel are. What would you say?

I would say it’s similar, but Watcher is a bit catchier and more accessible. But mainly, it’s built in the same way; it was me and Leo who wrote most of the music in Lethal Steel, so of course, it’s going to have a similar result.

-And in vocal terms? I think I can notice an overall difference in the, probably higher, vocal register.

Yes, I really tried to challenge myself on this release. I feel a greater control in the high notes since I got older, and it’s reflected in the songs on this album. I hope this is something that the listeners appreciate. I’ve put a lot of passion into making it as good as possible.

-Finally, what’s next for Watcher? Any plans for futures releases or maybe are you considering playing shows? Or a vinyl release?

The next step is actually to complete another album. More info on this will come later this year. Watcher is here to stay, that much I can say, and it will be significantly more productive than Lethal Steel ever was. This is my passion, and this is what I want to do.
Another goal is definitely to get people together to be able to go out and play shows. It’s one of the most fun things I know, so I look forward to that when the day comes.

-That’s all from our side. Thank you once more for your time. If you’d now like to add some final words, feel free to do it.

Thank you! I hope people will appreciate this album. I have a really good feeling about this release, and I’ve truly put all my dedication into it. So my advice to everyone reading this is to buy the album before the limited edition it’s printed in runs out!

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